Tips for selling your used car

Tips for selling your used car

Looking to buy a new car? Not sure where to start when it comes to selling your old car? We have put together some helpful tips on preparing your car for sale.

Clean Your Car

Getting your car looking its best before you show it to a potential buyer – whether it is a private individual or a dealer it will help you sell it as quickly as possible and for the best price. Apart from looking more attractive, a clean car sends out a good message about how well the car has been cared for. Valeting is a competitive business in the UK, so you get a lot for your money. Spending between £15 and £50 on a full valet is cost-effective if it results in an immediate sale and stops you having to re-advertise.

DIY Checks

Wipe the engine clean, but don’t steam-clean it. Besides raising buyers’ suspicions, you might also cause some damage to the electrics. Topping up the engine oil is a good idea together with filled washer and coolant bottles also look good.

Bodywork Repairs

Small dents and scratches are worth removing from nearly new cars, but generally they are to be expected on older vehicles so you’re unlikely to recover the cost of getting professionals to put them right. Dealers, in particular, won’t bat an eyelid at the odd dink as they can get any obvious ones repaired in their own bodyshop.


Price your car realistically particularly if you want a quick sale and check the prices of similar cars in popular classified ad magazines or online

The Paperwork

Collect together all the relevant paperwork for your car, including the V5 registration document, servicing schedule and MOT certificate. If you have receipts for work done on your car, so much the better – it will show that you’ve attended to problems as necessary. Do not let buyers make copies or take photos of vehicle documents. A fully-stamped dealer service record adds value if you’ve got one. Get a new MOT if there’s less than three months on the current one. Consider a new MOT anyway as this says a lot about the car’s basic condition. Remember that if your vehicle has a serious defect and is unroadworthy, you could be breaking the law by selling it, if you haven’t described it accurately.

Getting Paid

Beware of emails from abroad offering to buy your vehicle without seeing it, and offering to make overpayments. Also beware of bogus ESCROW or shipping companies recommended by the buyer. Do not let anyone drive your car away until you’re satisfied that you’ve been paid in full. If they are paying by cash consider arranging to be handed the cash at your bank or an online bank transfer are the safest way of getting paid. Bank transfers are quicker these days thanks to the ‘Faster Payments’ system. Customers can make payments over the phone or through online banking all day, every day. If you are given a personal or building society cheque, wait for it to clear in your bank before you hand the car over.

Notify DVLA

You must tell DVLA as soon as possible that you are no longer responsible for the vehicle. It’s in your own interest to do so, as you don’t want to be landed with any of the new driver’s future offences and convictions. As the seller you will need to complete the new keeper details on the V5C and sign the declaration along with the buyer. It is your responsibility to send the completed V5C to DVLA having first given the buyer the V5C/2 section – their proof of keepership until they receive a new V5C from DVLA.